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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 31 October 2020

Mayo rocked by departure of 10 players including Staunton ahead of All-Ireland championship opener

It’s understood the departed group are citing player welfare issues.

Cora Staunton is one of the players involved (file pic).
Cora Staunton is one of the players involved (file pic).
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE MAYO LADIES senior football squad has been rocked by the departure of approximately ten players from the panel ahead of their TG4 All-Ireland senior championship clash with Cavan next Saturday.

Among the players who have withdrawn from the squad are team captain Sarah Tierney, vice-captain Fiona McHale and all-time leading scorer Cora Staunton.

Team selector Michael McHale from Carnacon (Fiona’s father) has also opted out.

It is understood that the players who have left the squad are citing player welfare issues as the reason behind their decision.

Team manager Peter Leahy was unwilling to comment as were a number of the players when contacted.

However, Mayo Ladies GAA Board PRO, Susan Rodgers, did confirm that players had left the squad in the last week.

“Mayo Ladies County Board can confirm that a number of players have departed the county panel. Preparations are ongoing for Saturday’s All-Ireland Qualifier against Cavan and we will not be making any further comment until that game is over,” she said.

Officials from the board met with the group of approximately ten players on Sunday last, and also held a separate meeting with the senior team management.

Westmeath native Peter Leahy is the Mayo manager and his selectors are former Mayo All-Ireland winner, Denise McDonagh, and Mick Reynolds.

Last Tuesday a number of players met with Leahy to inform him of their decision to leave the panel. Mayo trained last Thursday without this group. They did not train at the weekend due to club championship games in the county.

Mayo were due to train again last night before playing Cavan in Clones on Saturday in the first round of the All-Ireland Qualifier group stage, from which teams will qualify for the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

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